There’s a spring in 34-year-old Syed Farhan Mazhar’s step. He’s down 25kg – it took him six months – and he’s aiming for another 10.
It’s been an easy ride, explains Mazhar, because of three reasons: the diet he’s chosen is easy-to-do and prepared by his wife; the meals he eats are filling and don’t compromise on taste or flavor; and the mirror is a great motivator.
In the early days – when the five-foot-10-inch father of one hit 110kg, he was tired of feeling tired. Each trip to the mall to buy clothes was a lesson in disappointment; he generally was not in a good head space. “The feeling was very un-fresh,” he explains.
When he finally had had enough, he sought change. It came in baby steps: “I started walking and going to the gym,” he recalls.
He couldn’t walk a kilometre without feeling breathless.
He kept at it, every kilo, every centimetre he lost an impetus to carry on. He would – and still does- take his measurements every two days so he can stay on the fit path. “My waist was 40, it has come down to 34 with time,” he says.
Instead of going to a nutritionist, Mazhar turned to the internet for some advice. And he tweaked his daily menu. Where once “I would eat anything at any time”, he says, today he is particular about both parameters.
This is what his daily meal plan looks like.
Early morning: Hot water with a few drops of apple cider vinegar and a tsp of honey.
Breakfast: Cereal with fruits, mostly berries
Lunch: one chapatti with vegetables and grilled chicken or fish
Dinner: A cup of green tea – with ginger and honey – and a boiled egg or two
For mid-meal snacks: Dry fruits and nuts
Instead of spending money on a gym membership – a jump into the waters of fitness fanaticism – Mazhar began to walk. At first he could walk less than a kilometer; today he walks - and jogs - more than 20km a day.
It’s all about willpower and willing, explains Mazhar. “This [ transformation] can only happen when you decide to do it – whatever happens 70 per cent will be done through your diet [and] 20 per cent through your exercise.”
He also calls for a good night’s sleep : At least 7-8 hours.
Add these variants together and the change, says Mazhar, is amazing.
“When you do exercise, your mind gets active, you go into a very positive place,” he says, adding that it’s also had a positive influence on his relationship with his child. Positivity does indeed usher in change with benefits.
Mazhar's exercise plan
Morning walk at 5.30am: 1 hour
Evening walk post 6pm: 1 hour +30 mins of stretching
Total exercise each day, seven days a week: 1.5 hours